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[[ Download Kindle ]] Ð Villette ì With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls boarding school in the small town of Villette There she struggles to retain her self possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster, and her own complex feelings, first for the school s English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor, Paul Emmanuel Charlotte Bront s last and most autobiographical novel is a powerfully moving study of isolation and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances It is not possible for me to talk about this book without somehow spoiling it I ll hide the main spoilers, but there are some pretty awesome twists and turns in this book, so I recommend reading it with eyes that are innocent of review spoilers.I have had this weird experience lately where books or movies or TV I watch are almost always either uncannily similar to my life like, exact words I ve said recently or experiences I ve had or totally offensive and appalling to me I think it is doi It is not possible for me to talk about this book without somehow spoiling it I ll hide the main spoilers, but there are some pretty awesome twists and turns in this book, so I recommend reading it with eyes that are innocent of review spoilers.I have had this weird experience lately where books or movies or TV I watch are almost always either uncannily similar to my life like, exact words I ve said recently or experiences I ve had or totally offensive and appalling to me I think it is doing damage to my nervous system I have a weak and brooding constitution, anyway, so recovery calls for those new episodes of Arrested Development to come out ASAP No, jk, I don t have a weak and brooding constitution, but seriously, I may take to swooning and weeping soon enough if this crazy pendulum doesn t stop swinging so wildly Villette was the uncannily similar variety of story It is so eerie to read books from almost two hundred years ago and see my own thoughts and experiences It is both comforting and totally exhausting comforting because we have always been like this exhausting because, well, we have always been like this Bronte s description of Lucy waiting by the phone for a dude to call, or, in her case, by the door for a letter to arrive, is chilling Lucy s conversation with Dr John, when she points out the hypocrisy of his ability to see shallowness in men but not women, is absolutely hilarious Lucy s delicacy about describing her own loneliness is beautiful Charlotte Bronte writes a really killer antiheroine, and it is always easier to identify with an antiheroine than a heroine, I think, because it is easy to see our own flaws While this book easily stands alone as a lovely study on humanity, it also evoked comparisons to Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice for me It was the last book Bronte published before she died As is so common, Villette, the later book, is a less tight story than Jane Eyre it wasmeandering, and where Bronte wants to dwell, she will dwell In some ways, though, I think Villette issuccessful than Jane Eyre in distinguishing antihero from hero because Bronte is kinder to the heroes in Villette and lets me feel a little bitter at them without really despising them here Dr John, in contrast to St John, does not creep me out Paulina is a traditionally heroic heroine This works in Villette because it provides aclear contrast between the traditional hero s story and Lucy s antiheroine story On the other hand, Jane Eyre allows flaws in everyone, whether they are golden or dark, so that has a nice subtlety At the same time that Jane and Rochester are theclear antiheroes, St John is so determined to crush feelings and be unhappy that he is not so much the golden hero as Dr John In Villette there is a clear line between hero and antihero in Jane Eyre the line isblurred, though the physical descriptions signal a distinction It might not be useful, though, to compare the two books because they are both wonderful, and I don t know that I prefer the clear distinction or the blurring.In some ways, I think this story is a Bronte Pride and Prejudice All of the couples are parallels view spoiler Paulina and Dr John are Jane and Bingley Lucy and M Paul are Lizzy and Darcy and, of course, Ginevra and de Hamal are Lydia and Wickham hide spoiler In many ways that comparison fails because the interaction of the characters in PP forms a cohesive plot, and Villette is not really about any particular plot, I think, but it was interesting to see similar couples described throughbrutal eyes Both Charlotte and Emily Bronte, also, always seemexotic than Austen because the aesthetics of their heroes are described so muchlike an emo band While Austen captures that subtle loneliness of unreliable family, the Brontes go straight for explicit isolation in a cruel world I doubt I could love either Austen or the Brontes so much without the other And it was beautiful to read about the couples from Pride and Prejudice with the severity and stifled animal cry of Charlotte Bronte I see Virginia Woolf s point that sometimes Bronte s failures as an editor interfere with the story in a way that you don t see in Austen, but it is still beautiful.Probably my favorite thing about this book is Lucy s shiftiness as a narrator This girl is going to tell you what she wants you to know and she is going to leave out whatever the fuck she wants It was totally hilarious that she view spoiler didn t even tell me that she knew the whole time that Dr John was Graham Bretton hide spoiler That little minx As they say And then the way she ends the story is just view spoiler heartbreaking you can t even handle the cruelty of her life, so she won t force you to listen to it hide spoiler I was not in love with any of the heroes of this story, and I kind of liked that, too It waslike a soul mate friend, of whom I am completely in awe, telling me about the people she loved, and how she understood them and their faults, than a con game of trying to get me to fall in love myself It is interesting because usually we are meant to fall in love with the romantic lead and I mma be honest, I totally swoon for Rochester , but I do not almost ever swoon for my irl friends love stories In this way, I felt that Lucy was completely her own person, and even though I identified with her in this sometimes creepy way, she was not a stand in for me in the love story I thought view spoiler both Dr John and M Paul were kind of douchebags hide spoiler , but that was fine because Lucy was smart about all of them Honestly, I didn t notice view spoiler M Paul hide spoiler for a long time, and I am usually really good at picking up on romantic leads, so when I re read I will have to pay better attention to what he does in the early part of the novel.I really loved this book As I got to the end, I panicked a little because I remembered that I had always partly been reluctant to read it because I will use up the possibility for a new Bronte story soon, and what a sad, bleak time that will be I still have a couple left, though, so I will hoard those for later I wish Bronte would email me new stories from her austere, Protestant heaven Lucy Snowe hates you She s writing her story for you, you re experiencing the most intimate contact there can be between two people, and she hates you It makes for a hard read.Her older sister, Jane you remember her she loved you Most of you probably had to read her story in high school, whereas not one teacher in a thousand would touch Villette Nor should they High schoolers have enough rejection to cope with Most of them were probably bored or annoyed with Jane, but you have to give Lucy Snowe hates you She s writing her story for you, you re experiencing the most intimate contact there can be between two people, and she hates you It makes for a hard read.Her older sister, Jane you remember her she loved you Most of you probably had to read her story in high school, whereas not one teacher in a thousand would touch Villette Nor should they High schoolers have enough rejection to cope with Most of them were probably bored or annoyed with Jane, but you have to give the woman credit she did love you That one sentence Reader, I married him do you hear the love in that She is with you, she tells it calmly and sweetly, the thing which if you cared at all you ve been dying to hear And she trusts that you do care She doesn t even question it She brings you straight into the fold, giving peace to herself, to Mr Rochester, and to you in one quiet sentence.Not so Lucy Snowe She is sure that you don t care, sure that you want to read some other story, that you re not tough enough or insightful enough to handle hers So she hides from you, and sneers at you from behind her hands She clothes her reticence in language of modesty, of restraint, of sensitivity to your tender feelings, but it s very plain that the truth is much uglier she doesn t trust you and she doesn t think you re worthy.I m sure you can find reasons for her to be this way she had a difficult childhood she was repeatedly overlooked by people she adored not enough people have cared, so she just assumes nobody does The psychoanalysis is all very interesting and makes for some good class discussions, but it doesn t take away the bitter taste Lucy Snowe hates you, distrusts you, looks down on you And you, poor reader, separated by bars of space and time and reality, can t do a thing to show her she s wrong.It s a fucking brilliant book Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage, so peril, loneliness, an uncertain future, are not oppressive evils, so long as the frame is healthy and the faculties are employed so long, especially, as Liberty lends us her wings, and Hope guides us by her star When I was growing up in Kansas, my father farmed and worked long hours, and my mother worked the night shift at the hospital as a nurse s aide Since my mother slept during the day, I had to be very quiet I found that by be Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage, so peril, loneliness, an uncertain future, are not oppressive evils, so long as the frame is healthy and the faculties are employed so long, especially, as Liberty lends us her wings, and Hope guides us by her star When I was growing up in Kansas, my father farmed and worked long hours, and my mother worked the night shift at the hospital as a nurse s aide Since my mother slept during the day, I had to be very quiet I found that by being as silent as a church mouse I achieved about the most freedom a young lad could hope to obtain Books became my friends, and they were outwardly quiet companions, but inwardly sparked fires in my thought processes I suppose I was lonely,lonely when I tried to talk about books with the people I knew It was like the excitement of finding a gold mine books only to discover that people preferred silver television Lucy Snowe, the heroine of Villette, is lonely life whirls around her and occasionally spins her into a light that requires people to see her She is uncomfortable, knowing she will be found lacking the qualities people admire most She learns to live by observing others and most importantly to be quiet, to be the wallflower on the verge of participation, but never taking that tenuous step forward to join the fray Day dreams are delusions of the demon Day dreams were truly dangerous delusions for Lucy Snowe She could not afford dreams because she could not stand the disappointment in failure to achieve those dreams Life had to be real for Lucy The novel begins with Lucy in the care of the Bretton s, a distant relation She is 14, and something, never explained in the novel, has happened to her family leaving her alone in the world under the care and kindness of strangers The reality of her situation is that she has no dowry she is not deemed attractive, and she has few opportunities to improve her position As she comes of age she works as a helper to an elderly, rich woman who dies leaving her again without prospects She makes the momentous decision to move to Villette, a fictional French city, without a job or any inkling of what will become of her Through misadventure and a bit of luck she finds herself on the doorstep of Mme Beck s boarding school for young girls A position is found for her teaching English to young, aristocratic girls She is surrounded by rich people, and like a lot of wealthy people they don t understand poverty She is asked why she teachesRather for the roof of shelter I am thus enabled to keep over my head and for the comfort of mind it gives me to think that while I can work for myself, I am spared the pain of being a burden to anybody Lucy Snowe could have presented herself as feeble, in need of care, and her relation would have certainly come forward to help her, but she chose to make her own way, and even though she elicits pity from her young, rich students, she is determined to be independent I couldn t help but be impressed by her determination and pride in taking care of herself Life dealt her few cards, but what few cards she had was enough to keep her from the clutches of poverty Lucy Snowe falls in love with the dynamic Dr John Graham Bretton, but he is in love with one of her beautiful students Ginevra Fanshawe Lucy convinces him not only of the immaturity of his love, but the fallacies of Miss Fanshawe He turns his attentions for a time to Lucy and starts to send her letters Lucy knows this is too good to be trueReason still whispered me, laying on my shoulder a withered hand, and frostily touching my ear with the chill blue lips of eld Despite her best efforts Lucy can t help but hope for the fairy tale, and when Graham turns his attentions to another, she does feel the pain The five precious letters that Graham wrote to her she symbolically buries in the bole of a tree so that she put them away from her and also keep them from the prying eyes of Mme Beck who is constantly going through the possessions of the teachers Bronte LetterCharlotte Bronte became infatuated with a Belgian Professor and wrote him a series of love letters He became incensed with this unsolicited attention and tore them to pieces The professor s wife saved them from the trash and sewed them together for posterity Here is an article giving a fewdetails The wife, I can only assume, was a Bronte fan and may have been flattered that Charlotte found her husband attractive.I was rather shocked to find that Villette has not been hashed and rehashed by Hollywood With all the films based on Jane Austen s work and on the works of the other Bronte sisters why has Villette been ignored There was a five part mini series back in the 1970s starring Judy Parfitt as Lucy Snowe I couldn t find any usable stills from that series to include in my review Netflix does not have the series available I can only hope it has not been neglected and been allowed to disintegrate Judy ParfittThere was also a BBC radio production done in 1999 with Catherine McCormack supplying the voice of Lucy Snowe Catherine McCormack Villette was published in 1853 and was the last novel published during her lifetime Charlotte had finally married in 1854 and became pregnant almost immediately She suffered from incessant nausea and frequent fainting spells Charlotte died with her unborn child in 1855 just short of her 39th birthday Photo of Charlotte Bronte circa 1854Charlotte Bronte explores the psychological implications of being an outsider The anguish, the dashing of hope, the moments of despair, and yet the haunting specter of expectations keep Lucy attempting to achieve a life filled with love and happiness She does, as the novel concludes, get an opportunity to fulfill her dreams and gain not only independence but a chance at loveHis mind was indeed my library, and whenever it was opened to me, I entered blissI have read that other reviewers felt the novel ended abruptly, and I too wantedthan just the sliver of explanation that was given at the end of the novel, but I think that hasto do with the way we feel about Lucy Snowe than it does about disappointment in Charlotte Bronte s plotting Highly recommended If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at Still 5 starsI loved this novel Obsessive reader as I am, I feel simply obligated to consume all kinds of reviews and discussions after finishing a book that left me in awe and baffled This time I even ventured into the territory of critical analyses and interpretations Many things came up during my quest to find out what people think of the heroine of Villette and the book as a whole that this is a novel about a woman who fights to attain her independence, that Lucy Snowe is a liar, tha Still 5 starsI loved this novel Obsessive reader as I am, I feel simply obligated to consume all kinds of reviews and discussions after finishing a book that left me in awe and baffled This time I even ventured into the territory of critical analyses and interpretations Many things came up during my quest to find out what people think of the heroine of Villette and the book as a whole that this is a novel about a woman who fights to attain her independence, that Lucy Snowe is a liar, that almost all characters in the book M Paul, Pauline, Ginevre, Dr John are representations of different sides of Lucy s possibly schizophrenic personality, that Villette is just adepressing rehash of Jane Eyre, some other stuff that I don t even have a mental capacity to fully understand and reproduce here But I am a simple person, for me Villette is a story of a woman who was severely traumatized by deaths of her family at a young age and who, being introverted by nature, under the pressure of her misfortunes closes herself to the outside world completely Lucy s whole life purpose is to guard herself from possible heartbreaks, to create a facade of serenity and unfeeling But the strength of her passionate nature, her vivid internal life are such that suppressing them is impossible The entire book is Lucy s never ending struggle to keep up her walls, not to let anyone in, not to feel, not to hope, not to love, not to get attached, not to reveal her true self in its clever, opinionated, passionate, desiring, jealous, petty glory Does the heroine attain her freedom in the end Does she escape a prison of her self imposed loneliness Yes, she does, but not for long The person who sees and loves Lucy the way she is, who helps her not only financially, but psychologically, is given and taken away And once again, Lucy is guarded and telling us her story, never allowing herself and us to see the true extent of her despair, unhappiness, and loneliness But even what is hinted at is heartbreaking.I loved this novel, loved it in spite of the numerous contrived coincidences, untranslated French dialog and sparse plot Villette is a study of a woman s complex inner world and as such it is remarkable However there is another sort of voyeuristic reason why the book affected me so much It is claimed to be heavily autobiographical and I find myself intrigued by Charlotte Bront I want to know this woman How much of the book was real Did the extent of Charlotte s loneliness and desire to be loved matched Lucy s Was M Heger, her real life professor, just like M Paul Did he awaken her soul, played with her and then discarded her when the affair interfered with his married life Was M Heger s wife as manipulative as Madame Beck Did Charlotte ever regret refusing several marriage proposals to instead pine over men utterly unattainable Did she blame herself for her inability to be happy Why didn t she allow Lucy her happy ending Did she think financial security was the maximum a woman like her could ever hope for and love was impossible I am off to try to find at least some answers to these questions